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(4th US Circuit) Appeals court: 'In God We Trust' slogan does not violate Constitution
San Diego Union -Tribune ^ | 5/13/05 | Larry O'Dell - AP

Posted on 05/13/2005 10:48:34 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

RICHMOND, Va. – The inscription "In God We Trust" on the facade of a government building in North Carolina does not violate the U.S. Constitution's guidelines on the separation of church and state, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a lower judge's dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the slogan written on the Davidson County Government Center in Lexington, N.C.

The inscription, in 18-inch block letters, was paid for with donations from individuals and churches in 2002. Lawyers Charles F. Lambeth Jr. and Michael D. Lea, who regularly practice in the center, filed a lawsuit a few months later, claiming the display violated the First Amendment and seeking its removal.

U.S. District Judge William L. Osteen ruled in May 2004 that the display "will not produce an excessive entanglement of church and state."

The appeals court agreed, noting that "In God We Trust" has appeared on the nation's coins since 1865 and was made the national motto by Congress in 1956. The motto also is inscribed above the speaker's chair in the U.S. House of Representatives and above the main door of the U.S. Senate chamber.

"In this situation, the reasonable observer must be deemed aware of the patriotic uses, both historical and present, of the phrase 'In God We Trust,'" Judge Robert King wrote. The court said the inscription would be unconstitutional if it served a religious purpose.

Lea said he was disappointed but was not sure whether he would appeal the ruling.

"The 4th Circuit got it exactly right," said James Redfern Morgan Jr., a Winston-Salem attorney who defended the county's governing board.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule in the coming weeks whether Ten Commandments displays on government property violate the Constitution's ban on "establishment" of religion. Last year the high court dismissed on technical grounds a case in which an appeals court ruled that the words "under God" in Pledge of Allegiance were unconstitutional.

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TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; Politics/Elections; US: North Carolina; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: 4thcircuit; appealscourt; churchandstate; constitution; ingodwetrust; judiciary; lawsuit; ruling; slogan; violate
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To: NormsRevenge
I hope this means my green backs are safe from the ACLU and the other trolls.
21 posted on 05/14/2005 4:27:02 AM PDT by TheForceOfOne (My tagline is currently being blocked by Congressional filibuster for being to harsh.)
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To: concerned about politics

PETA would complain they were being exploited.

22 posted on 05/14/2005 4:34:46 AM PDT by mlc9852
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To: NormsRevenge

Sanity from the Courts! I guess they don't want what happened to the 9th circus after the Pledge ruling to occur to them. Though supposedly this court is more conservative.

23 posted on 05/14/2005 4:39:11 AM PDT by Soul Seeker
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I think the constitutional intent is to make sure the government and any particular church don't share the same hierarchy. Purging all religious influence from the government is a Communist ideal, not a constitutional one.

I think one of the main factors that's made America great is we've always had a good balance between religious traditions and modern progress.

24 posted on 05/14/2005 4:50:00 AM PDT by Moonman62 (Federal creed: If it moves tax it. If it keeps moving regulate it. If it stops moving subsidize it)
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To: Moonman62

Makes sense to me thank you. Like you mentioned, Communism is the big one, because everyone is supposed to be "robots" to follow the prime directive of communism (everything belongs to everybody-yea right).
To support your theory, that is why China, NKorea,cuba?, right now try to ban any type of religions that try and blossom in their countries along with heavy censorship and (people owned-but really Commie dictator owned) media censors and manipulates everybody. Hope i got most the basics right ;) I know it's more complex than that.

25 posted on 05/14/2005 5:07:35 AM PDT by 1FASTGLOCK45 (FreeRepublic: More fun than watching Dem'Rats drown like Turkeys in the rain! ! !)
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To: goldstategop

Doesn't the ACLU somehow get paid, perhaps by the taxpayers, even if they lose cases? I get the impression they file suits to make money, even losing suits.

26 posted on 05/14/2005 5:50:16 AM PDT by ViLaLuz
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To: Ronin

LOL... We've got a ways to go, since the insanity of the last few decades was contagious, too.

27 posted on 05/14/2005 6:02:21 AM PDT by AFPhys ((.Praying for President Bush, our troops, their families, and all my American neighbors..))
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To: NormsRevenge

"In God We Trust" was Florida's motto before it was adopted by the United States.

28 posted on 05/14/2005 6:05:15 AM PDT by yarddog
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To: concerned about politics
"The ACLU is sad, deeply saddened.

I'm waiting for them to go after the Arlington National Cemetery. It's nothing but crosses.

What I am waiting for (and apparently the ACLU, nor that phony, Barry Lynn, or anyone else are afraid to challenge) is the United States Congress (THE SEAT OF OUR GOVERNMENT, NO LESS) opening each session with not only a prayer, but read by a CHAPLAIN.

Now how much more a violation of the separation of Church and State could one ask for? /sarc

Then of course there is the Supreme Court itself, which opens each session with "God save the United States and this Honorable Court!"

Why won't anyone challenge these institutions? What are they afraid of?

Of getting "bitch-slapped" so hard they would never recover?

I think yes.

Can you imagine the Congress being sued? Not even sure if it can be?

Never mind, the libs/dims/socialist would find some Fed Judge to take the case.

And if the Supremes were challenged, who would hear the final appeal? VERRRY INTERESTING?

29 posted on 05/14/2005 6:11:09 AM PDT by An American Patriot ("GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME"-- the opportunity to get the Hell out of here! Bye Bye VT- Hello, VA)
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To: NormsRevenge
Well Hooo Ray. Finally some one with a living brain cell heard such a case.

Good post and good info Thanks
30 posted on 05/15/2005 5:42:28 PM PDT by Gribbit (
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To: VeniVidiVici
So how much are these two lawyers going to have to pony-up for losing the case?

You've broached a sore point.

As you well know, in the case of federal civil rights actions, the plaintiff's expenses are paid by the U.S. Government. That is, the taxpayers.

It is increasingly apparent that the ACLU is using this otherwise well-meant provision as a gravy train. If they need money to pay their staff or lobby against Republican politicians, they launch a "civil rights case" -- thereby creating a cash flow.

It's time the ACLU began paying its own way...

31 posted on 05/15/2005 5:51:23 PM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: Moonman62; All
Exactly. It is so the government does not give preference to any particular church.
And the latter part of the sentence is "or prohibiying the free exercise thereof..."

A part the American Communist Liberties Union routinely ignore.
32 posted on 05/15/2005 5:59:39 PM PDT by djf (Sheep logic, or why sheep aren't mathematicians: I'll give up my freedom to preserve freedom)
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